HOUSTON -- Continuing its commitment of entertainment as enlightenment, the Alley Theatre is sponsoring, for the third successive year, noted actress Lynda Gravatt's one-woman appreciation of Harriet Tubman, Harriet Returns for Us, at various elementary, middle, and high schools in the Houston Independent School District and surrounding school districts. The educational touring show runs Mar. 17 - Apr. 7.
There will also be two performances at the Children's Museum at noon and 3:30 on Mar. 21; these shows are free with the price of admission to the museum. Those who want to save this $5 entrance fee can attend the two completely gratis public performances at the Alley March 23 at 10 AM and noon. In any case, the play is suitable for the young-at-heart too.
Written in 1992 by Karen Jones Meadows, an award-winning playwright, producer, and actress, Harriet Returns for Us chronicles Harriet Tubman's legendary journey from slavery to freedom, and from conductor of the Underground Railroad to a key participant in the NAACP. The interactive interpretation was originally commissioned by Ron Miller for Michigan's Paul Robeson Theatre. An expanded version of Harriet Returns for Us, entitled Harriet Returns, which includes spiritual voices and songs from a Greek-type chorus, recently concluded a six-week run at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles with Debbie Allen as Tubman.
Gravatt's extensive theater credits include the Huntington Theatre in Boston, the Studio Theatre in Washington, D.C. and Crossroads Theatre in New Jersey.
Harriet Returns for Us is part of the Alley's "Living History Series," an edifying program dramatizing figures and events of historic significance. For more information about Harriet Returns for Us, call the Alley Theatre's Education & Community Outreach Department at (713) 228-9341, ext. 347.
-- By Peter Szatmary